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Experimental melting of the Earth’s mantle in the diamond stability field

   Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences

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  Prof S Foley  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Our knowledge of the melt compositions that can be produced in the Earth’s mantle is very good in the depth range up to 130km, but much more rudimentary at higher pressures because experiments have not yet been done following a close raster of realistic melting conditions. This project will investigate melting and melt compositions in high-pressure experiments that concentrate on the pressure range 4–9 GPa (130-300 km depth), guided by expectations of conditions in which melting is most likely to occur. Results will be relevant to many geodynamic environments, including ocean islands, subduction zones and stable continents.

Our Department has a newly expanded high-pressure experimental laboratory and a strong tradition in microbeam mineral and rock analysis (EMPA, SEM, Laser-ICP-MS). We emphasize cross-links between geochemistry, petrology and geophysics in mantle and lithosphere studies. We seek outstanding students to actively contribute to a team effort in the Australian Laureate project “Deep Earth Cycles of Carbon, Water and Nitrogen” (

Direct entry into the PhD programme at Macquarie requires completion of a two-year Masters degree with a major research component at Distinction level (75%). For applicants with an Honours or shorter Masters degree, there are also MRES/PhD package scholarships which enable completion of MRES as a training pathway to a Doctoral degree.

International scholarships include living stipend and fees for 3 years. Applications are now open: application deadline is July 31st.

There is also an option for co-tutelle projects with partner universities.

You are encouraged to discuss a research proposal before completing your on-line application. Informal enquiries should be addressed to Prof. Stephen Foley ([Email Address Removed]). We also encourage students to suggest their own research themes. Enquiries about openings further into the future are also welcome.
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